24 May Redesign your website ONLY after you read this

If you’re thinking of redesigning your website, perhaps you think that just making your site look a bit more modern with a new logo will significantly increase your sales.

Well, the good news is that if you just do this, your site will look a nicer, you’ll pay a designer a few thousand bucks and you’ll be able to tell your friends about it – then sit back as they all tell you it’s lovely.

But the bad news is:

‘Taking your ugly site, making it shinier and look a bit better, but never improving your copy, typography or baking-in some well thought out goals into your site, is one of the biggest wastes of marketing ££ and $$ in the world.’

Even if you make your site a LOT nicer, you’re unlikely to see a sustained increase in sales or enquiries.

However:

Below are frameworks, examples, case studies and proven methodologies that you can use or show to the person who is redesigning your site, to make sure you are on the right track for increased sales and leads.

The design elements of your new site

Let’s roll:

Ugly works….sometimes

Don’t ever tell this to a branding consultant, but some of the most popular sites on the planet are the ugliest:

(alexa rank)
Google.com (1)
Yahoo.com (5)
Wikipedia.com (6)
Amazon.com (7)

Some of the most popular sites on the internet are the ugliest #websiteredesign Click To Tweet
Now, I’m sure Amazon, Wikipedia, Google and Alexa aren’t short of designers, but it would be hard to agree they are ‘design’ heavy sites.

They are all about function over form. Amazon know that over-the-top animations, flashing fonts and a long ‘about us’ page do nothing for their sales.

And there is one site, which takes the premise of design to a whole new level…enter Lings cars:


Throw out the design rulebook and destroy the competition

ugly sites increase conversions

So, there’s ‘eye catching’ design and there’s Lingscars.com. I haven’t seen a site which stands out as much as this, since the 90’s.

lingscars

Currently it features :

  • A live Karaoke version of the song ‘Venus’
  • A fake cabin crew video – of Lin’s friend answering FAQs
  • A ridiculous amount of flashing banners, animations and calls to action.

If you’re like me:

  • You laughed at the site.
  • You shared with friends.
  • You thought it was ridiculous.

But then I heard they generate more than £3.5m ($5.25m) per month.

And Ling has turned her ugly site into something of a purple cow – by adding a huge dose of personality into the site.

increase sales with an ugly site

I’ll admit, I spent a lot longer than I should have looking at the site.

And I do know 2 things from coming away from the site:

  1. If anyone asks me about leasing a car, I’ll certainly suggest they go to the site, even if only to spend a few minute giggling.
  2. If I look into leasing a car, this particular site is so far ingrained in my memory, I’m sure I’ll at least check it out.

I initially looked at this pdesage months ago, but haven’t forgotten the name, yet I can’t tell you the name of a single other car leasing company and over the years (I must have looked at around 20 or so).

increase sales on redesign

The lesson here?
Great looking design is an important part of your site, but it won’t overcome a poor product or service.

If you have amazing customer service, thousands of happy customers, then perhaps design ‘flair’ isn’t the most important part of your site. Ling certainly does remarkably without great design, but her site is peppered with tens of items which keep you on the site a lot longer than you perhaps would have.

Would this work in every industry ?

NO

But in the car leasing industry, where you are dealing with a middleman, it certainly does the job in helping Ling stand out.

Ling cars generates $5.25m per month by ignoring every piece of design advice....ever Click To Tweet

Reducing the ‘cool design’ increases sales

If you have an e-commerce store, before you even redesign the site, why not simplify and optimise to generate more sales:

Trolling Motors  increased their impressive online stats as follows:

Impact
Conversion Rate +48.0%
Average order value +32.3%
Average time on site +29.1%
Bounce Rate -10.7%

The steps taken were as follows:

1. Strip out products or services you don’t make GREAT margins on.

Trolling Motors moved away from the $100-$200 motors they couldn’t make a decent margin on – and moved to higher end motors at the $800 – $2,000 mark. This helped increase overall site revenue.

2. Highlight your benefits.

Somehow Trolling Motors manages to offer no sales tax and free shipping on a heavy item like a motor. Their previous site didn’t have as much prominence on these substantial benefits as the new site – which highlights these prominently.

From:
increase sales with free shipping

To:
revised shippping page increase sales

3. Simplify
After initially using a visually-striking, high-impact homepage, the team changed to a simple, easy to adjust and navigate `homepage for their Magento store.

Old, nice visual home:
funky home less sales

New, simple homepage:

simple home more sales

The navigation was also made much, much simpler:

From:
complex navigation - less sales 

to:

simple navigation - more sales

4. Explain your products in more detail on your category pages:

The category page on an ecommerce site is something that most companies put little thought into. The team setup ‘at a glance descriptions’ to compare the product benefits, making it much easier for users to quickly compare products without navigating through multiple pages.

From:
 complex category pages

To:

advanced category pages means more sales

5. Provide as much help for customers as possible
I’m amazed when I see e-commerce product pages with a 1 line description and no helpful information. I often wonder how they expect to generate sales using this approach.

TM worked out all the questions that customers asked them, and then spent time creating detailed, helpful pages relative to each individual product. It’s not hard to see how this alone will have increased sales:

increase ecommerce sales better descriptions

Takeaway

Ensuring your e-commerce site is both extremely helpful, optimised and simple will increase sales.
Trolling motors increased their conversion rate by 48% by simplifying their ecommerce site Click To Tweet


Sometimes all you do need is a little facelift

increase sales by optimising pricing
Basekit were looking to increase sales for their website building service through optimising their pricing page, which previously looked like:

optimise pricing page

Whilst keeping the majority of information the same, they made the new page ‘brighter and clearer’, as per below

optimising pricing page on redesign

The results of better design, more spacing and more icons?
A 25% increase in sales.

Takeaway

You should optimise every single page on your site – pricing pages are no exception – making a buying decision easy for a visitor will increase your sales.
Basekit increase sales by 25% after optimising their pricing page Click To Tweet


Don’t use a ‘slider or carousel’

It’s tempting to feel that you need a slider on your homepage to show off your amazing products and services… how else would you give 2 or 3 important products a priority?

Unfortunately for a lot of website owners, that carousel on your page doesn’t do anything for you.

Flip it on it’s head:

Do you think any users actually want to scroll through several slides?
Have you ever visited a site and thought ‘ oh cool, look at the way the images rotate ?’
Have you ever found a slider or banner that actually helps you make a buying decision?
Have you ever though ‘I’ll sit here patiently and spend 30 seconds waiting for all of the banners to rotate?

If so, then go for you life.

But if not, consider the following quotes:

7 reasons not to use a sldier

and check out Should I Use A Carousel
7 reasons not to use a slider Click To Tweet


Typography – ignore it at your peril

typography to increase conversions

Typography matters
You put all the effort into making sure the images on your site are stunning and show off your business – nice graphics and logos, a fancy parallax page effect

But

You forgot about typography!  – Bad typography can seriously hamper your conversion rate.

bad typography increase bounce rate

A good website makes things easy for your users – whether it’s to scroll through information, buy a product or find out more about your company. If users have to think too much when using your site, they will naturally start to want to go somewhere else.

Not content with just assuming that’s the case, a team at MIT found that when participants taking a test are shown easy to read typefaces, they perform much better than participants who were shown hard to read fonts (I’ve gone for a whopping 22px!).

So what does make a font easy to read?

small print killks conversions

To quickly check, take a look at you website, then pick up a book and it a comparable reading distance from your eyes. If your website text seems smaller…make it bigger. Smashing magazine recommend around 16pixels

Presslabs produced a beautiful guide to web typography

Here’s the 80/20 of their recommendations:

80-20 typography for conversions

A word on fonts – a unique, custom font doesn’t necessarily help people with your website. If you don’t have time to trawl through hundreds of options, just choose from a ‘super family’: Proxima if you have a subscription to Adobe Typeset. If not, then go for a quality free option, like Google Open Sans.
80/20 guide to web typography #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Ridiculously simple typography changes add $330k in sales

typography increase sales
Numara Software employed Click Laboratory to increase sales – and with some incremental testing, added a princely sum to their pipeline:

The treatment:

  • Increase in font size from 10 to 13pt and
  • Increased line spacing:

The result from this change alone was significant. Click went on to optimise the site further, for higher increases in optimisation and sales.

Numara added $330k in sales by optimising typography #websiteredesign Click To Tweet

The Final Word on Design

Whilst Ling shows you can fly in the face of conventional wisdom and still generate sales, you should still ensure your site looks and works well for it’s purpose. How far should you go with design?

I like a quote I found from Josh Porter:


Structuring your redesign well can significantly increase your sales

Blindly designing your site to ‘look better’ without a rationale for each change, can lead to an increase in sales, but this is probably more luck than anything.

The cases below show how methodically improving aspects of your site, or a single page can lead to a significant increase in your sales or leads.


Common sense leads to a 201% increase in enquiries

increase sales - simple changes

Most sites that are more than 3/4 years old look incredibly dated now – cramming as much information as possible on each page with tiny text and lots of links.

Majestic Wines had a classic ‘old fashioned’ page with multiple links to other pages which detailed features of their wedding hire service.

6 simple changes led to an increase in sales.

6 changes to increase sales
The work completed was:

  1. Reduced side banners
  2. Improved images images
  3. Added a video
  4. Reworded to a benefit driven heading: The old heading was ‘weddings’ – which wasn’t remarkably persuasive. This was changed to ‘Let us take the stress out of buying your wedding wines’, followed by a very useful subheading.
  5. Very clear calls to action (the initial page wasn’t remotely clear on what a user had to do

Which led to:

majestic simple site redesign increase sales

The result: a 201% increase in enquiries.

Takeaway

Simple website structural changes and common sense can significantly increase your sales and enquiries, it really isn’t rocket science.

Majestic Wines enquiries up 201% using..common sense #websiteredesign Click To Tweet

Incremental changes lead to 261% increase in conversions

Underwater Audio Site redesign increases conversions
When the Underwater Audio site was redesigned,  the agency – Fit Marketing went through an iterative process.

First they produced a nice, clean, simple looking landing page – with everything most people would expect from an ecommerce site: free shipping, 4 current products, some useful information, client logos and a simple, dark footer.

underaudio1

From day 1 – instead of a huge increase, the underwater team had a shocking decrease in conversions:

So they decided to start some split testing for their site, using the well known- Visual Website Optimiser tool.

underaudio2

They simplified to have 4 bands

  • Payment and navigation
  • Hero image and free shipping offer
  • 4 products with image, tagline, price and some popular logos
  • The footer

The result of seemingly innocuous changes? a 261% increase in conversions!

Takeaway:

Simple, easy to navigate websites work well – sometimes taking away elements from your site will lead to more sales.
Sales up 261% for Underwater Audio - after a big dip #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Following best practice usually works well

A simple page structure led to a 16% increase in sign-ups

buffer site redesign increases conversions

The ubiquitous team at Buffer decided to design a totally new landing page.
Their original home page wasn’t a million miles away from a decent landing page:
old page before site redesign

And to be honest, the old page ticked a few boxes: it explained what the product does, describes some key features and has some exceptional user testimonials.

However, as Brian Lovin noticed – there were quite a few places a user could get lost in the page – giving a visitor plenty of opportunities to start exploring the rest of the site, rather than fulfilling the key objective: making a user sign-up.

The new page breakdown

1. The headline
I’m sure you’ve heard the old David Ogilvy line paraphrased to ‘the Headline is 80% of the page’. And largely, it’s right – users spend so little time on your page that you really only have a few seconds to grab their attention.

You shouldn’t waste your visitors valuable time with clever catchphrases or logos – but highlight the real benefit of them being on your page.

Buffer came up with a new headline and subheading:
‘A better way to share on social media.
Buffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day so that your followers and fans see your updates more often.’

It’s clear, precise and would tell someone what they need to know in the first 3 seconds on being on the buffer page.

2. Prioritising what you KNOW your customers would use

Buffer knew that 82.69% of users signed in to Buffer using Facebook or Twitter – so they trimmed down their sign-in buttons from:
buffer12

to
buffer3

3. Hero image improvement
The team also changed the ‘hero image’ – illustrating Buffer working in the cloud behind the scenes.

The complete page looked like:

buffer4
The result
By following a methodical process and actually thinking through how their users would look at their site, Buffer’s new page generated a 16% increase in conversions.

Takeaway

Methodically analyse and improve every element of your most important pages to increase sales.
16% increase in sign-ups for buffer - #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


21% increase in conversions by focusing on how to display the product better

show product better for more sales

DT Telepathy worked with Crazyegg to increase conversions. They knew if they could showcase and allow users to interact with the product on the landing page, they’d increase conversions.

In addition, to slapping the user in the face with the product benefits, they also:

1. Made sure they had a clear way to get someone into your funnel.
If you want to have more sales in your business, you should develop a sales funnel to allow you to convert website visitors into paying customers over-time. You should then do everything you can to direct, push, prod and poke you users until they are enticed into giving you an email address or payment details.

show your product better for increase sales

The simple button ‘GET YOUR FREE HEATMAP’ is a very direct CTA – and with not much else on the page to distract the user, it’s a strong section of the page. Note this only works so well as the users will have seen the benefit of the product before on the page.

2. Show, don’t tell
Its a copywriters adage – ‘show, don’t tell’ the user about your product and it’s benefits. Rather than a little video that talked about their product, they allowed users to actually trial the software immediately on their landing page. This was an ingenious idea which would almost certainly have led to the higher conversions.

3. They grew up a bit.
Crazyegg exuded fun through everything. They still do this through the majority of their marketing, but not on their landing pages. Now, it’s all business.

By reducing the whimsical approach to their landing page – they increased conversions. Whimsy is cool, but not for everyone. The first time you meet someone, you want to show people how you can help them. not how quirky you are.

Is your website trying to hard to look cool? perhaps just finding a way to help your customers will work better for you?

Takeaways

  • Make every effort to show the user your product benefits
  • Make sure you have a clear, simple way for people to step into your sales funnel
  • Make sure your copy is written in a style that attracts buyers
  • Don’t try to look cool, try to help your customers
Crazyegg conversions up 21% - better produce demo #websiteredesign Click To Tweet

Feedback matters

As you’ll find out below, acting on feedback can have a significant impact on your sales…

Knowing what you customers want can provide a significant growth in sales (around £14m)

add revenue on site redesign

Whether it’s the headline, the images or the offers you make on your site, if you know what your customers really want, you’ll make more sales.

Conversion Rate Experts worked with Sunshine.co.uk – and added £14million in sales to the business after a site-redesign.

After surveying their customers (and boy they worked hard to survey them – offering a chance to win a holiday in exchange for feedback). This gave them valuable insight.

Then they started usability testing- hiring remote workers to try to book a holiday, flights, parking. Some users found this a breeze, whilst others really struggled, highlighting some inefficiencies in the site.

So the guys at CRE stated to make some big changes:

1. They Highlighted the benefits

From the research and some inside information from the founders, the true benefits of the site were distilled as follows:

      1. Lowest price guarantee Rather than implying a cheap holiday, the new site promised ‘if you can find a cheaper vacation, we’ll refund the difference – and give you a fiver on top’
      2. A security guarantee – that if a supplier goes out of business, sunshine would pay the user the money they paid for the booking.
      3. ABTA bonded (a UK travel trade association which provides a level of security to someone booking).
      4. No hidden charges – Unlike the rest of the industry, who add on additional fees as soon as you hit the checkout, Sunshine promised no hidden charges

The resulting benefits were placed prominently on the site:

sunshine

You can imagine the impact on a visitor, who could either visit a ‘normal’ travel company and see prices and lists of holidays, or visit Sunshine – where they are prominently shown the benefits of booking with them.

Make everything crystal clear.
In usability testing, some users were confused as to whether the pricing was based on prices per person, or per family.

Simply adding the clarification on pricing, led to a 19% increase in conversions – which was estimated to add £4m revenue to the company.

Turn negatives into positives.
Another insight from the testing was that users were concerned they couldn’t contact the company easily. Sunshine deliberately do this to keep the cost of operations down, so they actually highlighted the face they don’t have phone numbers explicitly on the site:

sunshine 2

The results of the site redesign were clear to see, with a £14m extra sales. All of this arose from some general principles based on users experience with the site, combined with some split testing.

Takeaway

Understand your users and highlight your benefits over your competitors to add an increase in sales to your site.
Sunshine holidays - £14m increase in sales #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


get feedback before site redesign

Before you start redesigning, get some feedback on your current site:

Usabilla continually requested live feedback from visitors to their site before launching a redesign.Their old page looked like:

get feedback before redesigning yoru website

And feedback included:

‘Nice visuals, but too complex
‘Links to some demo cases would be great.’
‘The page was not as informative as I was expecting. Too global, not enough specifics, and I didn’t want to go further’

and some said they only fully understood the products after watching the demo videos.

Whilst nobody really enjoys reading that sort of feedback, the great news is – it’s easy to get some quick wins – and Usabilla did just that, producing the revised page here:

usabilla2

The steps they took:

  1. Improved their heading
  2. Briefly summarised the benefits and who would benefit from their product
  3. Selected quotes of happy clients and those logos from those who use usable (reduced the number of logos on the new page)
  4. Revised the CTA

The result:
The number of CTA clicks increased by 51 per cent and the number of sign-ups by 168 per cent.
Usabilla conversions up 165% - get feedback #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


A redesign and additional tools can help you reach almost any website goal

If you have a highly trafficked page, make sure you optimise it to reach your goal

increase email subscribers landing page

Noah Kagan runs OKDork, a great site that has featured prominently in this blog.

His goal was to increase email subscribers – so he stripped away options for visitors on his homepage,  changing it from a list of blog posts, to a gated access page:

going from :

landing page increase subscribers

to:

gated access page gets more emails

He also added social proof via testimonials to the site to increase conversions:
testimonials increase subsribers

By removing the menu bar, readers could only explore the blog if they scrolled past his opt-in form and past the social proof.

Results
The result of the change: an increase in email sign-ups by 300%

Takeaway

Have a clear goal for your website – and drive all decisions on design to achieve your primary goal.
@noahkagan increased email sign-ups by 300% #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Use multiple ways to hit your goals

use tools to increase email subscribers

Previously I covered an article from Bryan Harris on how he increased his subscribers using a variety of tools.

Adam Franklin adopted similar approach – using 8 tools to increase subscribers by 17%.

Note if your business isn’t about gaining email subscribers (although I’d argue a large portion of any business should be) then you could apply tools like this to giveaway coupons, offers for your ecommerce store/whitepapers giveaways etc.

Naturally, there will be a minority of users who won’t like all of the tools you are using, but if you have good content and genuinely provide value to your users – you should take every reasonable step to help visitors with valuable content.

The tools used were:

A Sumome Popup
popup increase sales

Triggered to offer value in exchanged for an email address

On page analytics
They used on page analytics and click- maps to find out what elements of pages users were clicking on or missing.

use analytics when rebuilding your website

Bottom of page popup
The used a popup to trigger once a user has scrolled more than 70% of the page:
popup to increase sales

Forward to a friend
They encouraged new subscribers to forward emails to a friend
forward to a friend increases subscribers

A giveaway
They used the Kingsumo Giveaway plugin to create a competition where visitors could win 25 of their favourite marketing books by sharing the site.

Smart Bar

Using the smart bar (A thin bar with a CTA at the top of the page) generated by Sumome, Adam was able to increase conversions by offering free templates

smart bar to increase sales

A devoted call to action
Using a devoted call to action on the landing page (like Noah did above) and using heat maps to find issues, the group were able to increase conversions on their most trafficked page

franklin6
Using CTA’s in guest posts
By generating CTA’s in guest posts, they were able to increase leads from other sites – directing readers back the homepage to convert.

Takeaway

Don’t be afraid to use multiple techniques on your site to reach your goals
Adam Franklin increased subscribers by 17% #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Don’t ignore copywriting

Speak to a designer, and they’ll tell you design is the most important part of a website…..Speak to a copywriter and they’ll write a long 2,000 word letter to you telling you why you they are right and why you should use them and focus on copy rather than design.

Who is more convincing? (personally, I think the copywriter will win hands-down every time) but lets see what happens when you do improve copy on your site.

Proof that copy makes a difference

copywriting increases conversions
Michael Aagaard conducted more than 250 split tests and found that changing copy had a measurable impact on conversions.

Michael gives several examples of how copy impacted this tests, and presented his scale of sales – illustrating how if a user not given enough reasons to say ‘yes’ – then they will default to ‘no’.

The results from stacking positive benefits onto a sign-up form are significant:

CTA increase sales

In the above example, the text of the original copy is slightly vague and doesn’t provide a concrete offer or value. The copy on the right is simple, and much more focused on the benefit of the product.

The result was a 83.75% increase in sign-ups:

Michael also showed in a case study how changing bullet points could lead to increased conversions.

He changed one of his key bullet points from:

verve2

The revised bullet point:

‘Read the book in just 25 minutes and get insights from 4 years of research and over 350 A/B tests.’

really shouts ‘VALUE” to the reader – and shows exactly the results a visitor can expect from reading the guide for just a short time.

The result of this test:

verve3

Takeaway

Working on your copy in intelligent ways can significantly increase sales.
@contentverve increased sign-ups by 99.4% #webcopy Click To Tweet



Long copy does work
(but not necessarily all of the time)

I’m sure you’ve looked at long sales letters and thought….who reads those?

Well, the person who reads it is the person who’s hopefully the target for the product. 90% of people will read long sales pages and think ‘oh, not for me’ – but the copywriter is targeting those 10% who’s burning problem they can solve.

Another example from Crazyegg here (these guys test like crazy)
They tested a short webpage versus a LOOOOOONG webpage.

See what I mean:
crazylongcopy

The result:
A 30% increase in sales, from a page that was 20 x longer than the original.

Clearly the copy made an impact on this page!

Takeaway

It’s also worth remembering – you only need as much copy to convert your visitors on the page – so maybe your site only needs 5 lines to generate a lead – whilst some need 2,000 words.  Test your copy and to find out.
@crazyegg - sales up 30% with long copy #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Asking a simple question led to a 140% increase in conversions

one question to increase conversions

Amy Hoy from Freckle, an app that helps agencies manage their time asked herself the one powerful question that users would ask when viewing her page:

Why should I read this?

Which, on the face of it – seems so obvious, that you wouldn’t need any more thought.

Amy included an example of how a user would go through this on her site:

hoy questions

And then rewrote her copy to take this flow of questions into account:questions lead to increased leads

Amy’s aim wasn’t to sell anything at this point, it was to show the reader she understood their problem, making them feel special and intrigued how this company that knew the real pain they were going through could help them.

The analogy Freckle uses is that it’s about ploughing the field – setting up the users struggles and pains, before you write the ‘sales’ part of the copy.

Rather than writing – ‘here is the problem, we fix it’ – she paints the problem, then writes about the dream experience of the user – what they really want, then presents the end result of their software (note, she took the dream from her detailed surveys and discussions with clients)

Only after Amy presented the dream that solves their problems, did she talk about the product. By setting out a solid structure for the page, she could then engage in fine-tuning copy, buttons, layout etc.

The end result after the testing: MORE signups, and HIGHER paying clients.

Takeaway

Thinking about your site from your user’s point of view, and writing copy to appeal to your user’s biggest desire, can increase sales.
sales up 140% for @Amyhoy - #websiteredesign Click To Tweet
___

Use Amazon to read the minds of your prospects, and generate a 400% increase in your CTA

increase sales by reviewing amazon

This is an incredibly smart way of researching ways to write copy, from the team at Copyhackers.
The client (Beachways) ran a rehab facility and were redesigning their landing page and wanted reducing the cost of every enquiry.  Copyhackers helped out by researching places online where their ideal clients would have left reviews on OTHER items related to Beachways offering.

In this particular case, they headed to amazon and found product reviews on books related to rehab:

use reviews to improve copy

They analysed around 500 reviews in 3 hours – and created a summary table which summarised key phrases used in reviews – sorting into:

      • memorable phrases
      • what people want
      • what people are mad about/in pain over.

This led to the table here:

use reviews to increase conversions

After reviewing all of the summaries, there was a phrase which stood out as powerful from all of the amazon comments :

‘if you think you need rehab, you do’

On split testing this versus a different headline, the impact was 400% more custocmers clicking on the CTA and a 20% increase in lead-gen form submission not the next page.

The case study also goes as far as to produce a walkthrough of how to do this for an example startup.

Highly worth looking at if you think your copy is letting you down: read more here.
Amazon hack to write better copy - #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Changing your copy to action orientated makes a big difference

increasing sales by changing copy

L’Axxelle made a simple change to their headline which led to a 93% increase in purchases.

The original page looked simple and benefit driven:

laxelle1

and the revised page had a subtle change:

laxelle2

By changing ‘Feel fresh without sweat marks’ to ‘Put an end to sweat marks’

The revised text implied a concrete result for the user: would you rather ‘put an end’ to your sweat marks, or ‘feel fresh without them’

It’s a subtle change in the whole scope of the landing page, but a change in the headline can make a huge difference to conversions.
L'Axxelle changed headline ->sales up 93% - #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


All at one, or a bit at a time?

Sometimes you need to totally overhaul your entire site…but other times, you can make very small, simple changes over time to increase sales:

Should you change your entire site in one go?

Now, depending on how you want to proceed, you don’t necessarily want to redesign your entire site in one go. Chris Goward wrote in his article:

‘Wider Funnel found that companies who have a structured approach to conversion testing have double the conversion in sales, than those that don’t have a structure do.’

A structured improvement to your website, taking different elements, such as:

      • Site-wide design styles
      • Logo, header and tagline
      • Product page templates
      • Landing page design & content
      • Your product or service value proposition statements
      • Lead generation forms, shopping cart and checkout
      • Home page design, eyeflow, merchandising
      • Imagery, copywriting, ads, calls to action, and offers
      • And everything in-between!

and tweaking, slowly improving on a weekly/monthly basis, will turn your website into a continual improvement machine.

So your changes to your site and conversion rates won’t look like:

incremental website improvements
but more like:
crazy2

This way eliminates the ‘gut feel’ of ‘oh, that design looks nice’ and ensures your designers’ favourite colours aren’t the main driver behind your redesign, but your visitors action points are.

But if you are making complete changes, make sure you make them….FAST:  Marks and Spencer spent 2 years and £150 million on a new site, and by the time it launched, the new site was outdated.


Sometimes you just have to try a radical design change.

If you’re website is simply not performing, then you should consider a complete revamp.

firstSTREET found their on-page conversions were virtually non-existent for their computer for senior’s product.

Previously, they’d taken the original landing page – and changed headlines, images and text to attempt to optimise the site.

The initial page looked like:
wow1

Which as you can imagine, didn’t really covert so well.
After some changes to the structure, the team tested making some small changes to the site, versus a complete overhaul.

The revised page looked like:

wow2
Which had much clearer images, well spaced text and clear benefits on the page.

The results were an increase in online sales, from less than 0.2%, to over 6% on average.

firstStreet said when they were trying to tweak changes to their original site ‘it felt like were were trying to rearrange chairs on the titanic’.

Sometimes, you have to redesign your whole site to make a significant improvement in your site.

Takeaway

If small changes aren’t working to improve your site conversions, then sometimes you have to totally restaurateur and redesign the whole site
firstStreet conversions: up from 0.2% to 6% with site overhaul- #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


AB testing doesn’t always work as you’d expect

AB testing is crucial for improving your site – and whilst in some cases changing the colour of a button or a headline can yield significant results (as I’ve shown above), it’s often the case that getting continual improvements in your website is tough . Finding the key few elements to optimise is often harder than it looks.

The always-impressive guys at Groove did some interesting split tests and reported…..zero results.   It’s proof that optimisation isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

Here’s the short summary:

1) Signup Button Colour

button color no increase in conversions

2) Homepage Headline

headline didnt impact conversions

3) Signup Call to Action

signup CTA no impact converions

4) Email Subject Line

email subject no impact conversions

5) Customer Logos

customer logos no impact conversions

6) Pricing

pricing no impact on conversions

The full post can be found here

And the quote:

groove quote keep testing

Takeaway

– Your business is different, and your business results from AB testing won’t necessarily emulate those of others you read (including those above).  If you understand the principles of testing and optimisation, you’ll do a lot better than simply copying little hacks.


Minimising site re-design adverse SEO impact

new design decrease traffic
The most soul destroying thing that can happen when redesigning your site – is that you spend a long time on design, copywriting and building a fantastic site – only to find out that your traffic drops off a cliff after launch!

However avoiding complete disaster can be easily achieved by correct planning and implementation.

4 simple steps to avoid a reduction in traffic were found in a case study by Steven Macdonald from EMarketers

      1. Uploaded the XML Sitemap to google immediacy after launch.
      2. Mapped out all URLs of the site, which included a URL rewrite with user-friendly URLs
      3. 301 redirects were implemented and tested
      4. Monitored web traffic for both referrals and organic traffic

The results:
seo redesign

Image taken from Quicksprout

On the site where these 4 changes weren’t made, the traffic dropped 34%, whilst on the site these changes were made – the traffic decreased only 4%.

Whilst a 4% decrease may not sound impressive – it’s a solid start on a site redesign and certainly better than the alternative of a 1/3 decline in your site’s traffic.
reducing SEO decline when redesigning your website #websiteredesign Click To Tweet


Conclusion and what you should do now

Redesigning a site can provide a significant increase in sales, leads and income if you correctly plan, structure and execute the changes.

Over-engineering design or not thinking through copy can lead to costly mistakes.

Don't redesign your site until you have read this #websiteredesign Click To Tweet
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